Homemade vegan pizza
This is one of the most successful vegan dishes I’ve made at home. Yes, some might think that a pizza without meat or cheese is hardly a pizza at all – but I’ve found a way around that. It needs to be a fully-loaded pizza, which is exactly what we have here.
My first vegan pizza attempt was feeble. I ordered a margherita pizza, sans cheese, and simply topped it with nutritional yeast. It was awful, and put me off pizza for a few months. I was about ready to remove pizza from my life permanently, until a vegan friend shared her secret with me: if you have enough toppings, you don’t miss anything. So, here we have a pizza laden with aubergine, caramelised onions and mushrooms, topped with guacamole, vegan mozzarella and fresh origanum. And, it is good. Not just vegan pizza good, but good full stop.
Yes, there is a little more work involved – as you’ll be making your own cheese substitute, but from start to finish, this pizza can be in your belly in under 30 minutes – which is quicker than it would take for you to order a delivery.
The fake cheese is made from nuts, blended with tapioca starch – which gives it its stretchiness – and nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is deactivated dried yeast flakes, with a distinctive nutty, cheese-like flavour. It’s readily available in most health shops, and even some larger supermarkets. Apart from adding depth of flavour to the pizza – along with a healthy dose of B vitamins and folic acid – it can also be used as a sprinkle on salads or pastas.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made this pizza at home. Four, possibly five? Not only does it give any restaurant or takeout pizza a run for its money, it’s also one of the healthier junk food options – packed with vegetables and healthy fats (without any of the artery clogging cholesterol), it’s quickly become a favourite in our home – even with my meat-eating husband.
Makes two 24cm pizzas
2 premade pizza bases, defrosted
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large aubergine, cut into 1cm cubes
400g mushrooms, roughly chopped (I love shimeji)
2 medium onions, cut into rings
2 tsp dairy-free pesto (Pesto Princess is my favourite)
guacamole and fresh origanum to serve
for the vegan mozzarella:
Adapted from here
Place two tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot or frying pan and place on a high heat. Add the aubergine cubes and mushrooms and cook until tender and starting to brown. Remove from the pot. Add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, along with the onions, and cook gently on a medium heat, until starting to soften and brown slightly. Add a splash of water if the onions are browning too quickly. Remove from the pan when done.
To make the vegan mozzarella, place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until well combined. If you prefer a smoother ‘cheese’, pour the mixture through a sieve to remove any remaining pieces of nuts. Pour the mixture into a saucepan, over a medium high heat, stirring constantly. The mixture will be very watery, but will soon start to clump, eventually forming a stretchy mixture. Be sure to stir constantly, to avoid burning.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Place the pizza base on a rack or baking tray. Spread 1 tbsp pesto on each base, before dividing the aubergine, onions and mushrooms between both pizzas. Top with dollops of the ‘cheese’, before placing in the oven for 7 – 10 minutes, or until the base is crisp. Dollop with guacamole and sprinkle with fresh origanum before serving, if desired.
Source: Agorgeouslife-Candice-Bresler – Homemade vegan pizza